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The Family Truck vs. SUV Showdown

The Family Truck vs. SUV Showdown

The Family Truck vs. SUV Showdown

Over the decades the needs of families have changed dramatically. In the 60s and 70s, the number one choice for a family vehicle was the station wagon. Throughout the 80s and 90s, the popularity of station wagons waned as the demand for minivans increased. Today, when it comes time to purchase a new family vehicle, SUVs are the number one choice. But, are they the best choice?


When it comes to full-size vehicles, both SUVs and pickup trucks are built on very similar platforms. But that does not make them equal when it comes to drivability. Keeping your family safe should be a top priority, which is why drivability is so important. The pickup truck generally has a longer wheelbase, which makes it harder to manage than an SUV. This longer wheelbase also makes it more difficult to maneuver around a smaller parking lot.

Unlike full-size vehicles, most midsize SUVs share platforms with cars. As result, midsized SUVs generally have a much shorter wheelbase than midsized trucks, which results in a vehicle that is easier to manage both on the road and off. While midsize trucks handle like their full-size counterparts, midsize SUVs handle like a car.


SUVs without a question are specifically designed for transporting people. Trucks on the other hand are designed for carrying payloads in the bed. As a result, when it comes to choosing between a full-sized SUV, or a pickup truck, the SUV provides a better ride due to an improved suspension. The suspension on full-size pickup trucks is stiffer, which is needed for carrying heavier payloads.

Just like their larger counterparts, midsize pickup trucks also have an issue with stiff suspensions. The lighter weight of the midsize truck, coupled with the stiff suspension results in a less than satisfactory ride experience. Since midsize SUVs are built on modified car platforms, not only do they provide a very smooth ride, but they have some excellent payload capacities.

Fuel Economy

Full-size pickup trucks generally have better fuel economy than SUVs. Due to the size and weight of the SUV in comparison to the truck, an SUV will consume slightly more fuel than a lighter pickup truck.

The opposite is true when it comes to midsized trucks and SUVs. While the midsize truck is a lot lighter, they are not as fuel-efficient as an SUV. Midsize SUVs that are built on car platforms feature some of the most fuel-efficient engines available on the market today.

Towing Capacity

For families who need a vehicle that is capable of towing recreational vehicles such as trailers or boats, the pickup truck is the number one choice. While full-size SUVs are capable of towing as much as 3 to 4 tons, the full-size pickup truck can easily tow trailers that weigh more than 5 tons.

The same can be said when it comes to midsize trucks and SUVs. The towing capacity of a midsize truck ranges from 3 to 4 tons. However, since most midsize SUVs are built on car platforms, their towing capacity maxes out at 3 tons. As result, if you need a family vehicle that can also tow a trailer, then the obvious choice is a pickup truck.

Pickup Truck


No matter how you choose to look at it, both SUVs and trucks sit higher off the ground than any other vehicle on the market today. As result, climbing in a full-size pickup truck can be a chore for just about anyone. You will quite literally need to jump, just to get out of a full-sized truck or SUV. While most modern full-size trucks and SUVs feature running boards, these add-ons do not help as much when it comes to loading and unloading cargo. Accessing the back of an SUV is a lot easier than climbing in and out of the bed of a full-sized pickup truck.

Since midsize SUVs are generally built on car platforms, they sit lower to the ground than midsize pickup trucks. Because the midsize truck still sits high enough off the ground, it requires passengers to jump in order to get in the cabin. Getting in a midsize truck can be a bit more harrowing than a full-sized truck due to the reduced headroom. At the same time, while most size SUVs have 4 doors, getting passengers into the backseat of a 2-door midsize truck can be a daunting task even for a smaller family.

Seating & Comfort

The maximum number of people that you can comfortably and safely fit in a full-size pickup truck, is five. A full-size SUV on the other hand can easily fit six or more passengers. The full-size SUV generally comes with a third row of seats which provides even more seating capacity than can be found in a pickup truck. However, the crew cab pickup is considered to be one of the easiest vehicles on the market today, when it comes to installing a child's car seat.

Midsize trucks are no different than their larger counterparts, except that their seating capacity is reduced by one. Although it is possible to fit three kids in the back seat of a midsize truck, it is too tight of a space for three adults to fit comfortably. SUVs on the other hand can easily seat five people or more. Just like their larger counterparts, midsize SUVs generally offer a third row of seats which can cater to as many as eight people.

You Can Count With Us For All Your Aftermarket Auto Parts

Whether you decided on a Truck or SUV you can always get your aftermarket auto parts with us.  At PartsMax we offer a wide range of parts and a huge inventory.  Order online or pass by our South Florida shop.